New Hook Knife Could Save Your Life

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Benchmade Knife Company Enters "Rescue Market"

Benchmade Knife Company's Rescue Hook safety knife is machined from high-quality 420HC steel with a satin (right) or black oxide finish and comes with either a soft belt sheath (shown here) or a molded plastic "snap fit" hard sheath (not shown).

Say you're flying your ultralight over a large lake and suddenly the silence is deafening. Your engine has unexpectedly quit. You are now flying a glider.

You've planned ahead for this possibility, so you have enough altitude to glide engine-off to the other side of the lake, but as you approach the shore, you see there are no suitable emergency landing areas there. You're not flying an amphibian or an ultralight with floats, so a water landing near the approaching shoreline may be your best (or only) option. You check your seat belt in preparation for what may be a hard landing and sudden stop in the water.

You're prepared, right? But what if, once you've touched "aqua firma," your safety harness release fails or you fumble and waste precious time as your ultralight sinks below the surface. In aviation, pilots rarely have to consider the risk of drowning, but you are now suddenly faced with exactly that possibility if you can't undo your seat belt before your plane sinks.

You say you never fly over water (perhaps preferring to fly around it)? Well, there are other circumstances that may require a quick exit from your cockpit. What about the risk of fire after a crash?

A rescue hook knife could save your life by quickly and easily slicing through your webbing seat belt. Any time you have to quickly get out and away from your ultralight in an emergency situation, a rescue hook knife offers great "just in case" insurance to overcome a stuck seat belt release mechanism.

"The Model 5 Rescue Hook is razor sharp and will cut through fibrous material like a hot knife through butter," Benchmade says. "All without danger of inadvertent blade exposure to any surrounding items ­ including the user's fingers. It is small enough to attach to your gear or flight suit to be there when you need it." Benchmade Knife offers both hard (molded Delrin® plastic) and soft (nylon fabric) sheaths for their hook knife. The soft nylon sheath features a hooded pocket with Velcro® closure for easy belt carry, while the hard sheath snap-fits over the Rescue Hook's cutting end.

"The Model 5 Rescue Hook offers the ideal means to readily slice through security belts, rope (up to 3/8-inch diameter), webbing, clothing, as well as a multitude of other fibrous materials," the company says. "Its unique design serves to provide an extremely sharp cutting edge in situations where using a knife would either pose a safety issue or simply slow the reaction time for efficient rescue.

Benchmade's Rescue Hook knife also has a lanyard hole (for the break-away tether for neck carry, provided standard), and the finger hole doubles as a handy bottle opener. For emergency medical technician (EMT) use, the Model 5 also features a built-in oxygen bottle valve wrench.

Benchmade Knife Company is well-known to knife collectors, and has at least several of their knives in the 12,000-piece cutlery collection of Chattanooga, Tennessee's National Knife Museum. The company was founded in California in '88, and since '96 has had their corporate offices and manufacturing plant in Oregon City, Oregon.

The sample Model 5 Rescue Hook knife sent to UF! was a high-quality (I would say even heirloom-quality) example of what the specialty knife and cutlery company produces. Suggested retail price for Benchmade's Model 5 Rescue Hook knife is $25 (with either the satin or black oxide finish and the soft sheath), or $35 (with either finish and the hard sheath).

- Buzz Chalmers

Catalog: free. Benchmade Knife Company, 300 Beavercreek Rd., Dept. UF, Oregon City, OR 97045. Phone: (503) 655-6004 * Fax: (503) 655-6223 * e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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